Photo Courtesy of Lindsay Fox
Photo Courtesy of Lindsay Fox

How bad is Vaping?

POSTED November 30, 2020

Some people think vaping is healthier than smoking, vaping won’t hurt me, and I’m not addicted I can quit anytime I want. But is vaping really that harmless and easy to quit?

To start you need to know what’s actually in a vape and what you could be inhaling if you vape. First, one of the most dangerous things in a vape is nicotine.  It is a highly addictive substance that the more you vape, the more your brain and body get used to having nicotine. Then the harder it is to go without it. When you try to quit vaping, the nicotine level in your bloodstream drops, which may cause unpleasant feelings, and a strong urge to vape and get more nicotine into your body. 

Photo Courtesy of Pxhere

Some other bad chemicals in vapes include Propylene glycol, propylene glycol forms carcinogenic compounds when heated, and carcinogens are compounds that can cause cancer in humans. Another dangerous chemical to inhale in a vape is acrolein, a herbicide primarily used to kill weeds that can cause irreversible lung damage from inhaling it. Lastly, some more terrible things in vapes are diacetyl, it’s a chemical linked to a lung disease called bronchiolitis, diethylene glycol, a toxic chemical used in antifreeze that is linked to lung disease, and benzene, a Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) found in car exhaust. VOCs can irritate the eyes, nose, throat, cause difficulty breathing and nausea, and can damage the central nervous system as well as other organs.

Even with all of those bad chemicals and substances vaping can do even more to harm your body. Vaping can slow brain development in teens, affect memory, concentration, learning, self-control, attention, and mood. But it doesn’t stop there as vaping increases the risk of other types of addiction later in life,  irritates the lungs, brain changes that can affect mood and impulse control later in life, and vaping causes the death of gum tissues that causes gum recession, and could even kill you vaping has killed 60 people already.

Even after hearing all of that, it can still be hard to quit vaping because it’s extremely addictive. The more you vape the more your brain and body get used to having nicotine the harder it is to go without it. When you try to quit vaping, the nicotine level in your bloodstream drops, which can cause unpleasant feelings, physical symptoms, and strong urges to vape. Nearly 7 of 10 smokers say they want to stop but are too addicted to break the habit. A vape pod has 0.7 mL of nicotine and that’s equivalent to an entire pack of cigarettes. To become hooked all it takes is a few blows on a vape to become addicted.

Photo Courtesy of Lindsay Fox

With all of those negative effects, people still continue to vape and some people even start vaping while knowing all of that. 39% of students who used e-cigarettes in 2016, started because a friend or family member used them, 31% started because of the availability to choose flavors, such as mint, candy, fruit, or chocolate, and 17.1% started because they believed that e-cigarettes are less harmful than other forms of tobacco, such as cigarettes.

It’s not just the adults vaping, many teens are getting into vaping. Some believe it’s because of the vaping companies advertisements because some companies might be targeting teens specifically. Tobacco companies target youth to develop good and loyal customers. Young individuals are more likely to try vaping for the first time than when they are adults. Additionally, youth under the age of 18 are the customers who keep the tobacco companies in business. Studies have shown that adults over the age of 18 are much less likely to pick up vaping, and in addition tobacco companies spent over 9 billion dollars on advertisements in 2018 to reach more customers. With all that advertisement ads have reached 80% of U.S middle school students. Also, most of their customers are teens. Only 20% of 18- to 29-year-olds reported vaping regularly, and a federal survey showed 27.5% of high school students have used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days, and 11% of middle schoolers have vaped in the past 30 days.

With all of those negative effects, we need to find a way to stop kids and adults from vaping. One of the easiest ways to help stop people from vaping is not vaping yourself 40% of the people start vaping from seeing someone else vape and want to try it themselves. Another easy way to help is to show people the risks and what’s happened to some people before. This can often show them what they’re doing to their body and how it’s affecting them without knowing it.

Sources:

https://truthinitiative.org/research-resources/emerging-tobacco-products/where-are-kids-getting-juul 

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/11/06/776397270/more-teens-than-ever-are-vaping-heres-what-we-know-about-their-habits 

https://medium.com/@TobaccoFreeSC/tobacco-companies-targeting-youth-25ba3fff1daa 

https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2019/9/19/20873665/vaping-teen-survey 

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/e-cigarettes.html 

https://teen.smokefree.gov/quit-vaping/vaping-addiction-nicotine-withdrawal 

https://www.lung.org/quit-smoking/e-cigarettes-vaping/whats-in-an-e-cigarette#:~:text=E%2Dcigarettes%2C%20aka%20JUULs%20and,glycol%2C%20flavorings%20and%20other%20chemicals

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